Review: The Lady Most Likely by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

lady most likelyReviewed by Janell

This is billed as a novel in three parts, and it was written by three pros in the historical romance genre. In a first for me, I listened to this as an audio book. Do you guys do that? I checked it out from the library, which you definitely should be doing. And if you use your children’s library cards to request more books than your card allows? Well, aren’t you smart!

The grand arc of this book is a house party. The hostess’s brother Hugh has recently decided that he must marry and produce an heir, because after falling from a horse he’s realized that he could die. Hugh is way into horses, much more so than he is into the bride hunt. He’d prefer a pretty woman with good teeth who can breed. So his sister makes a list of eligible women, invites a mixed crowd to her house, and waits for Hugh to choose.

The first story, by Julia Quinn, is about Alec and Gwendolyn. Gwen is the star of the Season, the loveliest girl surrounded by the most suitors. Alec’s own sister is jealous of Gwen and orders him to keep Gwen occupied so that she doesn’t steal all of the men. During this “occupation,” Alec discovers a side of Gwen that no one knows. Their romance is sweet, almost love-at-first-sight, and perfectly charming.

The next story, by Connie Brockway, is a childhood friends-to-lovers type. Neill and Katherine grew up on neighboring properties. She crushed hard on him, he was madly in love with her. But since he was a few years older, her father made Neill keep his distance, so much that they’ve been apart for years until the party. These characters are more fleshed out than the previous ones. Neill had a lot of emotion that he had to hold in check, and Katherine manipulated people and circumstances until she got what she wanted. They were a spirited couple.

The last story was written by Eloisa James, who I love, but it was my least favorite. Hugh, as I’ve mentioned, is into horses. He spends most of his time at the barn, unconcerned with dinnertime or wearing a jacket or any other rules that would interfere with training horses. As he popped up during the other stories, I found myself wondering why any woman would want him unless she also liked horses and thought he was sexy. And I didn’t get that from Georgiana. She was very into fashion and quite proper, and I felt that she was persuaded by Hugh’s dogged pursuit more than by her own emotions. I didn’t see her fall in love so much as give in. But others reviews seem to prefer this story over the others, so who knows? Maybe Hugh’s voice in the audiobook made him seem too lunkish to me and I couldn’t picture him as romantic.

I usually avoid novellas because I like my good books to last, but since this had three stories taking place at the same time, it felt more like one cohesive book, and I really enjoyed it. I accepted that the romances would be quick and that the stories would cut off once true love was discovered. The writing was excellent and the house party setting kept all the characters close together. I recommend it for an angst-free hit of romance.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Lady Most Likely
by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Publisher: Avon

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